Fiction Adventure Suspense

Chocking back tears, Aaron watched his little brother walk into the room. Through blurred vision he trailed his siblings silent saunter. Circumnavigating the bed, Clayton plopped into a leather chair, peaked his fingers together and cracked a grin. Straining to see his brothers cocky smirk, he blinked back the wetness wishing he could wipe before his little brother noticed. “Tell me everything!” He stammered.

Clayton punched Aaron on his soft muscular shoulder that hand’t lifted from it’s silky prison in years. “Brah, it was epic.”

Aaron’s eyes twitched back and forth signaling the right spot to mute as the television played Warren Miller on a constant loop. Several times a day, his infamous yellow parka would fly into view, chug down white powder until it disappeared over a cliff into deep snow. The videographer manning the controls somewhere unseen had a hard time keeping the drone on point.

“Better’n Alaska or the Dolomites?”

“Just freaking sick brah! Gnarlier than anything. Ever!” Clayton leaned onto forearms pressed against upper thighs so Aaron could see his beaming face. “I mean man, it was beyond-beyond, nothing like back in the day. Had to be there dude! Words cant describe.”

Aaron scrunched his brow, snorted, cocked a grin so hard his cheek twitched against his eye socket. “I’d have given my right nut, you know?”

“I know, I know. I’d give mine to see you back on sticks.”

Aaron blinked upwards three times at the camera to reset the flat screen plastered against the ceiling. “What’s the link?”

Pulling his phone from baggy shorts, Clayton flipped the screen, tapped twice and the image on the ceiling switched to a camera view. A wide angle lens looked down past chopper rails above dark mountain crags poking through a sea of white.

“Russia man!” Clayton exclaimed. “Volcanoes, steam and Kamchatka! Those crags and chutes burnt my legs to twitching nubs.”

Aaron starred at the image as the view careened sideways, the chopper swooped, circling, looking for the perfect spot.

“There, see those dots, that’s Zeek and Punk, they’d already been dropped, we were next.”

Aarons eyes widened as the view spiraled down. Powder flew in long flowing swirls, the camera eased upward as the chopper hovered, swayed and finally settled. In the cameras eye, endless mountain peaks stretched beyond the horizon. Aarons mouth breathed a long deep gasp. “Wow!”.

“Told ya brah, it was leg-end-ary!”

Willing a wishful nod at Clayton, his eyes barely able to shoot a glance towards his brother as today was a tough one. “Man, you are one lucky bastard. Did you get anything from your helmet?”

“Brah! You think I’m flying six thousand miles and not filming that shit?”

Aaron smiled. “Had to ask, figured the rush was more important than your big brother.”

“You kidding?” Clayton lifted his frame, flipped his cap backwards and leaned into his brothers chest wrapping him up into a bear hug. Tears crept down his cheeks. “Brah, you are all I think about when I’m pulling hard G’s. You were the GOAT man, the… G.O.A to the T.”

Pressing his chin against Clayton’s head was the closest Aaron could come to a hug. Grating his beard stubs against the truckers mesh, he whispered. “Come on man, let’s see this run. Scare the shit out of my mind.”

Plopping back into the squeaking chair, he flipped the lever to drop backwards. Wiping his cheek, Clayton tapped the phone slid his finger to start and declared, “wicked first drop man, be ready to be blown back brah.”

On screen the camera angle changed to quick shots checking equipment. Like a bird perched on a limb spotting his surroundings, the angle snapped back and forth, gloves tightened, pole straps secured, boots locked and then came the nod. Looking side to side, the camera flipped up and down, both companions stood on a knifes edge. Goggles sparkled bright sunbeams flickering at the edges, they responded in bright silence. Ready.

Flying straight down, seconds flew as glistening dust churned at the lens edge. In a flash, the view changed to a wide expanse, the camera seemed to float. An ombre sky appeared, dark royal blue spread from the heavens to teal shimmering along snarling buttes lining the horizon.

“That first drop! Dude, I had to check for skid marks. Then we straight-lined through narrows that nearly took my twins. Easily a hundred in places that we should have died. I thought I was toast man.”

As the film progressed, Aarons eyes widened, narrowed and flinched as his brother tore down the steepest mountain, through the narrow chutes and jagged crags crazier than anything he could recall. A drone shot cut into view exposing the shear size, scope and difficulty. High altitude extreme skiing at levels he couldn’t recollect attempting back when his legs took commands from his brain. Flicking his eyes over towards his brother mesmerized by his own ability, Aaron drank in his little brothers smiling excitement. Cherishing this moment meant everything.

When their father had first taken them to Copper Mountain deep in the Rockies, they’d both become hooked. Recalling their first huck, Clayton was fearless chasing his big brother all over gods white earth, through thick pines, down VW bug sized moguls and over heart stopping crags. Aaron missed it.

“Dude! Dude! Check this bit out.” Clayton pointed at the screen.

Aaron flicked his eyes upward catching an open pristine bowl. Faceshots, he loved deep powder, hero snow, as much as hucking over cliffs, burning chutes or carving an edge where others dared to tread.

“This will blow your mind.” Clayton insisted.

Aaron watched as the camera went bone white. Two seconds, four seconds, ten seconds then blue sky. Pines in the distance and a small clearing further down valley with a lone cabin, smoked curled from a rock chimney, beckoning to take a break and drink in the grandeur.

“That powder was so deep, I looked up and couldn’t see sky, it was righteous!”

Aaron couldn’t stop. “Wow, just, wow - dude, that’s some deep shit.”

“Never have we ever had such white-out brah, I mean I thought I was a goner, but then we shot out, there it was the widest, calmest most serene valley you’d ever laid eyes. Magical!”

Attempting to lean up, Aaron strained as far as his spines C7 would allow. “Is that Punk?”

“Oh yeah, dude lost track and landed in a tree. Check this out.”

Fast forwarding, the camera zoomed into a tight shot. A blue figure hung from a large pine bow, his jacket stretched upward under weight. Grinning from beneath his goggles, their old friend Punk waved at the camera shouting. “Get that on camera dude!”

Aaron laughed, “Punk was always getting into it. Crazy times, just crazy before I…”

Clayton interpreted. “We ripped his thousand dollar Arc’teryx getting his punk ass down. Man he was pissed.” Clayton covered his mouth as he chuckled.

After the screen went blank, silence enveloped the room. Both starred into oblivion. Aarons eyeballs dried looking around at the the four walls squeezing inward. Clayton chewed on a hangnail inspecting the tiny bloody spike left by absent minded nibbling. A time bubble swelled as the room lost air.

Clayton jumped and poked his brother in the chest. “Yo! Dude, I have an idea! Next trip, we strap your ass to the heli’s gurney upside down. Get a Birds Eye view from eleven thousand feet.”

Puffing out his cheeks, Aaron blew upwards popping out his lips. “I wish!”

“Nah, nah… dude, I think we can pull it off, the crew would sign waivers in a heart beat, you know man.” Clayton leaned back, crossed his hairless legs, checkered Vans twitching and his grin grew crater wide. “Seriously brah, let’s do it!”

July 24, 2023 15:25

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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